Thursday, April 6, 2017{Social Media As Digital Open Mic}

I have decided to change this section of writings from being called “editorial” to being categorized as “Process”. I figured most of OWL’s Asylum as a body of writing was of an “editorial” nature. These particular scribings are more about my thinking about my thinking of strategy regarding OWL’s Asylum as a vehicle. A metathought, if you will.

 

I still have not decided how often I will be writing these. Given that I am averaging around 6 pieces a week at this point in time, I figure I may just release one of these every week. That is written in digital, not ink or brick, subject to changes at any moment.

 

I took some time off of Twitter, and then I took some time on Twitter. I still have yet to find my groove with Instagram and Facebook. However, I seem to be beating my high score on Twitter. I have not changed my mind about linking more of my content here from Twitter, though. While this is my aim, I do realize how difficult of a challenge it is to make viral content off Twitter with Twitter as an engine for that virality. My “trolling” of Twitter does much more than any of my more intellectually stimulating content here probably ever will. “Trolling” is not really a game of novelty or originality. It is more about providing a reason for creative expressions within a public setting best analogized to an audience. Even if those “creative expressions” would be better dubbed as “reactionary” in more thoughtfully analytic camps.

 

Social media is much more open mic night(or day, for that matter) than it is university auditorium. People want to express their version of whatever it is we are discussing, not be bombarded with authoritarian sentiment. Unless of course, that will get them more 10 on a scorecard, of course.

Reasons That We Are Here

A lot of what I find that drives me, my thinking, what I am describing as US Black Media Trust is this need to cut what is beautiful from what is being defined as beautiful. My pain is a lifetime of beliefs sold to me by misbelievers. Without being bitter about this investment, I have simply decided to craft my body of work out of a distillation of it.

 

Asylum has never been a moral argument. I am not a moralist. I am not some bleeding heart liberal wafting boiling tears into paper as treastise. Asylum is not because I care about a world of strange profane predators pretending at civility because they have been marked as prey. That is not who I am. It is not what my words are about. I am only concerned here with distinguishing what is beautiful from what is being defined as beautiful.

[Editorial]03-24-2017{Why I Am Willing To Pay A Monthly Subscription To Twitter}

So, a day or so ago, I read this article about Twitter adding premium subscription fees to their robust, feature-packed user interface, Tweetdeck. As a user of Tweetdeck, needlessly to say, a power-user, I have absolutely no problem with paying a reasonable cover charge to access this feature-rich package. That is, granted Twitter provides a few additional perks at, once again, a reasonable price. More on that in a bit.

 

Let me explain some of my reasoning here. As I have stated in various updates, I believe Twitter would be a better community if its power users had more control over it through a payment process. I still hold to that theory. As well, I have yet to read that Twitter is charging for all access to their platform, just a particular software packaging. As a professional, I started out in web design. Paying ridiculous prices for software packages is not something I am a stranger to. In my line of work, it sort of comes with that territory.

 

Moving this discussion back and forth along that trajectory, right. Adobe charges $19.99 for access to one of its Creative Cloud applications. Just one. I have no idea what lame can get by on just one Adobe product in that field, but I also hear that Pirate Bay is still having a special deal on all Adobe products. That being stated, for $3.99 a month and a stand-alone desktop application, as well as mobile, I have no qualms paying for Tweetdeck.

 

To be honest, it would be my pleasure.

However, I am not paying same price Adobe charges for Photoshop for Tweetdeck. Granted, I cannot fathom why anybody would only use Photoshop that would ever pay for just Photoshop, but, OWL be damned if pay same said subscription for Tweetdeck. This does seem to be that going rate being bandied about.

According to this insider’s update

 

 

My major concern here, if this is all accurate, is that most of these features are free, and if they are not, they should have been. I do sort of question a company that provides that sort of public service that Twitter has come to provide, holding their customer support hostage like this. But, most of this list, sadly, covers functionality already found in Tweetdeck with a few customizations. That being stated, I do not see where I could justify a budget for $19.99 a month.

 

I would be willing to pay $3.99 for use of Twitter alone, but asking me to pay an additional fee for software that cannot give me value off Twitter is not good business logic. Just like Photoshop without Illustrator, for me, is asinine at $19.99 a month. Twitter is not Twitter because of its sexy user interface(one of those few digital successes that Facebook did not steal, because it was stolen from Facebook); Twitter is Twitter because of its audience, sans celebrities that do not even interact with their user bases. For $19.99, although mad disrespectful, Adobe gives me power over digital imagery at a professional level. At that same price point, Twitter would have to give me power over social marketing. That sort of community influence, even with those goofy blue verification checks, simply cannot be baked into any of their software packages.

[Editorial]march 23 2017(social media strategy adjustments)

(Not quite sure why I am calling these “editorials”, I just have not come up with a better label)

 

Anyone who has been following my love and love to hate relationship with social media, Twitter specifically, knows how up and down I can be on this topic. However, I do believe I have found a happy place. While I have not totally disconnected OWL’s Asylum from Twitter, I have developed an on-going pattern of usage. That would be, a usage of non-usage. As a practitioner of strategies of no strategy I feel quite delighted about all of this.

 

I grew up in a time where everyone wanted to be on television. Being seen on a television screen for any number of reasons, including just being a game show contestant, was akin to accomplishment. These days, I see a similar set of social dynamics surrounding social media. There is a notion that if you post it, millions of dollars will flow your way. In that same vein of people doing anything to appear on television, there is now an insurmountable flow of content displaying people doing all sorts of just stupid. It is not that “stupid” part which alarms me, though, ironically. It is that people do not realize just how saturated these spaces become.

 

Showing up is not enough. While I am one of those persons that believes content drives its own demand, I do also believe that market spaces dictate consumption practices. Youtube is that new satellite dish of those 1980s and 1990s. For those of you who do not remember or simply cannot remember because you were not there, let me take you back.

 

During my youth, when someone’s parents purchased a satellite dish, it was this huge deal because they now had this seemingly infinite array of channels to choose from. Now, what is different from then and now is that most people either were still on UHF/VHF, cable with limited channels(let’s say 130 choices), or no television at all. What was always funny, however, was that even with all those choices, those people would still watch those same stations that people who only had UHF/VHF(roughly 21 or so choices of channels). Television consumption being a predominantly social event, no matter how swank those new channels, no viewing audience meant no one cared what you saw at recess that next morning.

 

I see social media in a similar light. Let us step all that way back, alright. I see this WORLD WIDE WEB in that similar light. There are more websites online than people in United States of America. For all intents and purposes, that represents infinite choice. Yet, just like that satellite television, most people on Earth only visit a hand full of sites. Coming back to YouTube, or Twitter, or Facebook, or Snapchat, or Instagram, these same dynamics creep in. When you log onto these modern channels, their algorithms, those pesky codes that nudge our behavior and limit our choices on these platforms, are written to show us most watched, most seen, most discussed, most followed, or some variant of “most” engaged content. This leaves a very long tail of obscure content vying for eyeballs under this same dynamic that caused “Girls Gone Wild” to become a thing in early 2000s.

 

While I embrace these platforms as communications mediums, I also have to be honest about my purposes. I do not care about millions of views if none of those millions ever develop a relationship with Asylum off of these more popular platforms. One million followers on Twitter cannot help me if none of those Twitter users become OWL’s Asylum subscribers. So, I do not use any of these services if I cannot link directly to here. I have my own site. It costs me to operate OWL’s Asylum, why would I own a house that I am never in?

 

And that has become my strategy of no strategy. I will not post any content outside of OWL’s Asylum that I cannot add a link to. Any dialogue must occur through private channels on that application or we can just text each other. If we do not feel comfortable enough with each other to exchange numbers, then our publicly distributed and databased dialogue probably will be fake anyway.

[Editorial]Sunday, March 19, 2017

I have probably done all my best writing when I was not thinking about audience. There is something about audience that reduces writing, and probably most creative activity, to a mechanical and mathematic process. Not that I despise calculation, in fact, I consider it a virtue, but I am one of those spiritual persons that believes in a monotheistic pantheon. That is to say: every goddess should be given rule over their own universe with assistance from other gods when they are called for.

 

That being said…

 

I am looking for ways to extend my Self three ways. OWL’s Asylum has to maintain a slightly mechanical approach to writing, or it no longer has pieces worthy of reading. Furthermore, I am a programmer and developer, so much of my thinking does exist in a mathematical space that often demands manipulation versus magic. However, I am also an artist at heart. I do believe in magic, and despite whatever markets are saying about people that use digital platforms for their art, I hold deeply to a sentiment that art should remain as authentic to its creator as possible. And of course, “as possible” means “after taxes”.

 

I do not think to find a room for calculation and creativity to share will be that difficult. More of a matter of keeping fear and frustration(read that as ‘perfection’) from blocking my writing(you have got to see what OWL did there).

 

Lastly, there is a need for business. Asylum has been able to exist for longer than most dynamics in similar categories because of readers, supporters, and donations from folks like you. Some months are better than others, of course. It has been difficult for me to bring a full business sense to Asylum, primarily, because my business savvy is about a level one on a ten level scale. Work ethic becomes a frowned upon quality when that work diminishes gains or simply does not accrue them. But, if math of that construction type hinders growth, then numbers simply for number’s sake outside of trade for necessities is an even bigger detriment.

 

OWL’s Asylum was never designed to make money. In fact, it was designed as a recreational and self-educational vehicle outside of my money making endeavors. Despite that fact, even its altruistic aspect was purely accidental. OWL’s Asylum was OWL’s asylum before it was any others asylum. Regardless of evolution, I have to take that design intention into account for our future direction. Unfortunately, any future expansion beyond present monthly expenses will demand OWL’s Asylum become monetized beyond monthly donations.

 

So, however, these three gods need to share a room, I have to figure that out. In practical space, not theoretical space. I will keep you posted on how this all works out…